Puppetry is an ancient form of theatre and entertainment practiced mostly in rural India. It is an art which enchants children as well as adults.
It is the combination of several arts forms like sculpture, painting, dancing, acting, writing and music. A large variety of raw materials are used to create puppets. The Famous puppets of Rajasthan are made up of wood and are known as Kathputli. Leather, papier-mâché and stuffed cloth are also frequently used.
Puppets may also be classified according to the methods of manipulating them, that is, the means used by the puppeteer to make the puppets move, for example, Hand Puppets string puppets, rod puppets and shadow theatre.
In India puppets are regarded as divine and held in reverence by the puppeteer. After they become old and worn out they are not discarded but kept at home like ageing relatives.
The stories enacted by the puppets are influenced by the epics – Ramayana and Mahabharata, the Panchtantra stories and glorious tales of past warriors and heroes.
The islands of Bali and Sumatra in Indonesia also have a rich tradition of puppetry. Japan is famous for its puppet theatre called ‘bunraku’, in which majestic dolls almost 150 cm tall are animated and skillfully manipulated by several puppeteer.
A film in Indian cinema – Peheli gets lots of praise and success for the use of puppets as the whole story of the film was narrated by the puppets and all liked it very muc.